BEST CREDIT CARDSBEST CREDIT CARDSBANK OF AMERICA UNLIMITED CASH REWARDS REVIEW: DECENT RATE, INTRO APR

Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards Review: Decent Rate, Intro APR

Earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases and get a 0% intro APR window to pay off purchases or debt.
Melissa Lambarena Author Avatar
May 8, 2024 9:26 a.m. PDT
Edited by
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The Bottom Line

4.6

NerdWallet rating

This card has an industry-standard rewards rate and a lengthy 0% intro APR for purchases or balance transfers, but other credit cards have better offers on all fronts.

Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card Image
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on Bank of America's website
on Bank of America's website
Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card
Annual Fee
$0
Rewards Rate
1.5%
Cashback
Intro Offer
$200
Recommended credit score
Intro APR
0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 billing cycles and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days
Regular APR
19.24%-29.24% Variable APR
Recommended credit score
Annual Fee
$0
Rewards Rate
1.5%
Cashback
Intro Offer
$200
Recommended credit score
Intro APR
0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 billing cycles and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days
Regular APR
19.24%-29.24% Variable APR
Recommended credit score
  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Rewards rate

    1.5%

  • Bonus offer

    $200 online cash rewards bonus after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening.

  • Intro APR

    0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 billing cycles and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days

  • Ongoing APR

    APR: 19.24%-29.24% Variable APR

    Cash Advance APR: See Terms

    Penalty APR: 29.99%, Variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    3% for 60 days from account opening, then 4%

  • Foreign transaction fee

    3%

  • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards® member, you can earn 25%-75% more cash back on every purchase. That means you could earn 1.87%-2.62% cash back on every purchase with Preferred Rewards.
  • No annual fee.
  • No limit to the amount of cash back you can earn and cash rewards don’t expire as long as your account remains open.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the Intro APR offer ends, a Variable APR that’s currently 19.24% - 29.24% will apply. A 3% Intro balance transfer fee will apply for the first 60 days your account is open. After the Intro balance transfer fee offer ends, the fee for future balance transfers is 4%.
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap.
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.

Pros and Cons

Pros

No annual fee

New cardholder bonus offer

Intro APR period

Cons

Best rewards limited to certain customers

No bonus categories

Requires good/excellent credit

Detailed Review

The $0-annual-fee Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card can be paired with other Bank of America® credit cards to earn maximum rewards, but you won’t get the most value from it unless you’re a loyal Bank of America® customer.

You’ll get a decent 1.5% rewards rate on all purchases if you don’t keep bank accounts or Merrill accounts with Bank of America®. That rate is respectable, but it doesn’t beat the solid 2% rewards rate offered by multiple competitors.

At best, it’s a decent no-frills option for rewards or paying down debt, but it’s not the best.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Don't confuse this card with Bank of America®'s similarly named product, the Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card for Students. To learn more about that version, read our full review here.

Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card: The basics

Card type: Cash back.

Annual fee: $0.

Sign-up bonus: $200 online cash rewards bonus after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening.

Rewards: Earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases. (Bank of America Preferred Rewards® members earn 25% to 75% more cash back on every purchase, which means you could earn up to 2.62% cash back on every purchase if you qualify.)

Redemption options: Statement credit, deposits made directly into a Bank of America® checking or savings account or credit to an eligible Merrill account. Cash rewards don’t expire.

Interest rate: 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the Intro APR offer ends, a Variable APR that’s currently 19.24% - 29.24% will apply.

Balance transfer fee: 3% for 60 days from account opening, then 4%.

Foreign transaction fee: 3%.

Compare to Other Cards

ANNUAL FEE
$0
REGULAR APR
19.24%-29.24% Variable APR
INTRO APR
0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 billing cycles and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days
RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE
ANNUAL FEE
$0
REGULAR APR
19.24%-29.24% Variable APR
INTRO APR
0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months
RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE
ANNUAL FEE
$0
REGULAR APR
17.24%-28.24% Variable APR
INTRO APR
0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE
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Benefits and Perks

No annual fee

With a $0 annual fee, the Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card can stay in your wallet for a long time. You'll never have to worry about counting rewards to determine if you're offsetting the annual cost.

Robust rewards for Bank of America loyalists

If you keep a significant amount of money with Bank of America, you can earn elevated rewards on the bank's credit cards, including the Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card. You can join the Bank of America Preferred Rewards® program if you keep $20,000 or more with the bank. (Bank of America calculates your assets by calculating the three-month combined daily balance of your accounts.) Along with other benefits, you'll earn up to 75% extra rewards:

Program tier

Required balance

Relationship bonus

Gold

$20,000 to $49,999.

25%.

Platinum

$50,000 to $99,999.

50%.

Platinum Honors

$100,000 to $999,999.

75%.

Diamond

$1,000,000 to $9,999,999.

75%.

Diamond Honors

$10 million or more.

75%.

If you qualify for the Platinum Honors Tier or higher, you'll earn 2.625% back on every purchase, which is an absolutely stellar rate for a flat-rate credit card.

A decent sign-up bonus

The Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card offers a decent sign-up bonus that’s easy to earn. You get a $200 online cash rewards bonus after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening. (This offer is only available online on select channels.)

Flexible cash-back redemptions

Reward redemptions are flexible with the Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card. You can redeem for cash back as a deposit to an eligible Bank of America bank account, credit to Merrill accounts (including 529 accounts) or statement credit. Some cards allow you to redeem cash back in only some of these categories.

Breathing room on interest charges

The Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card offers a lengthy introductory interest rate: Get a 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the Intro APR offer ends, a Variable APR that’s currently 19.24% - 29.24% will apply. That’s enough time to finance a large purchase or several small ones. But, if you're planning on transferring a balance from another credit card, you will have to pay a fee of 3% for 60 days from account opening, then 4%.

Drawbacks and Considerations

Rewards redemptions favor current Bank of America® customers

Although the Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card offers flexible cash-back redemption options, most of them tend to favor Bank of America® customers. Other credit cards, like the $0-annual fee Discover it® Cash Back and the $0-annual-fee Chase Freedom Flex℠, don’t require you to redeem rewards with an in-house bank account from the issuer when you want a deposit. You can redeem rewards for deposits into qualifying bank accounts at other institutions. Plus, these cards earn 5% cash back in rotating quarterly categories (on up to $1,500 spent per quarter) when you activate. All other purchases get 1% cash back. The Chase Freedom Flex℠ also earns rewards in other categories.

Other cash-back cards offer 2%

While 1.5% cash back isn't bad, it’s possible to get 2% cash back on a no-annual-fee card. The $0-annual-fee Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card, for example, offers an unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases, and it has some noteworthy incentives for new cardholders. The introductory offer is: 0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 months and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% Variable APR. There's also a nice sign-up bonus: Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months. It has a $0 annual fee.

Longer intro APR offers for purchases and balance transfers exist

The Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card already offers a lengthy 0% intro APR period, but if you’re willing to go without rewards, you can buy yourself a few more months. The BankAmericard® credit card offers 0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the Intro APR offer ends, a Variable APR that’s currently 16.24% - 26.24% will apply. It has a balance transfer fee of 3% for 60 days from account opening, then 4%.

You can also explore Nerdwallet's full list of best credit cards to get.

How To Decide If It's Right For You

The Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card is a decent choice for loyal Bank of America® customers. It’s also an option if you want a low-maintenance credit card that’s easy to manage. Ultimately, it packs valuable introductory offers and rewards, but it’s possible to find better deals elsewhere.

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Alternate Pick: 1.5% and bonus categories, too
No annual fee

Earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% back at restaurants, 3% back on drugstore purchases and 1.5% on everything else. Introductory offer: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back! Annual fee: $0.


Methodology

NerdWallet reviews credit cards with an eye toward both the quantitative and qualitative features of a card. Quantitative features are those that boil down to dollars and cents, such as fees, interest rates, rewards (including earning rates and redemption values) and the cash value of benefits and perks. Qualitative factors are those that affect how easy or difficult it is for a typical cardholder to get good value from the card. They include such things as the ease of application, simplicity of the rewards structure, the likelihood of using certain features, and whether a card is well-suited to everyday use or is best reserved for specific purchases. Our star ratings serve as a general gauge of how each card compares with others in its class, but star ratings are intended to be just one consideration when a consumer is choosing a credit card. Learn how NerdWallet rates credit cards.

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